Male or female
AS A MATTER OF FACT - Sara Soliven De Guzman (The Philippine Star) - August 19, 2019 - 12:00am

I wonder what happened to the janitress who barred the male transgender from using the restroom for females. Remember there are only two restrooms, one for males and another for females. Under the circumstances, did she do the right thing?

The Supreme Court, in Silverio vs. Republic, did not allow a transgender to change his name and sex as appearing in his birth certificate, ratiocinating that – “while petitioner may have succeeded in altering his body and appearance through the intervention of modern surgery, no law authorizes the change of entry as to sex in the civil registry for that reason. Thus, there is no legal basis for his petition for the correction or change of the entries in his birth certificate.”

Under our present laws, a person born a man will always be a man though he feels, acts, talks, thinks, or dresses like a woman. Even if he will undergo sex reassignment surgery to be artificially bestowed the gifts of womanhood, a male he shall forever be. If no less than our Supreme Court considers the transgender a man, was it discrimination on the part of the janitress to have insisted that he could not use the restroom for women? If she did not bar the male transgender from entering the restroom and a natural “dalagang Pilipina” would have felt offended or uncomfortable and also complained, would the janitress be reprimanded for allowing the incident to happen?

I hope she will not be dismissed from employment for doing what is legally right. Instead of making the janitress the villain, politicians should try amending the law or at the very least craft one requiring business establishments to have separate restrooms for LGBTs. 

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Today, August 19, is Quezon City Day, and in accordance with Republic Act 6741, it is a non-working holiday in Quezon City, Quezon and Aurora provinces. Quezon City was named after President Manuel L. Quezon. The city is celebrating its 80th anniversary.

In the movie Quezon’s Game directed by Matthew Rosen and where Raymond Bagatsing played the role of Quezon while Rachel Alejandro as Doña Aurora, the unveiling of Quezon City was depicted. 

Records show that Quezon City was once made up of individual towns of San Francisco del Monte, Novaliches, and Balintawak.  In 1938, President Quezon created the People’s Homesite Corporation and purchased 15.29 km2 (6 sq. mi) from the vast Diliman Estate of the Tuason family.

The National Assembly of the Philippines at that time passed Commonwealth Act 502, known as the Charter of Quezon City (originally proposed as “Balintawak City”). After the lobbying of Assemblymen Narciso Ramos and Ramon Mitra Sr., the assembly named the city after Quezon, the incumbent president.

Quezon City was created in 1939. Some barrios or sitios were given to the capital city: Balingasa, Balintawak, Galas, Kaingin, Kangkong, La Loma, Malamig, Masambong, Matalahib, San Isidro, San Jose, Santol, and Tatalon from Caloocan; Cubao, the western half of Diliman, Kamuning, New Manila, Roxas and San Francisco del Monte from San Juan; Balara, Barangka, the eastern half of Diliman, Jesus de la Peña and Krus na Ligas from Marikina; Libis, Santolan and Ugong Norte from Pasig and some barrios from Montalban and San Mateo.

It is said that six towns readily gave land to Quezon City for the benefit of the country’s new capital. But in 1941, the area within Wack Wack Golf and Country Club was reverted to Mandaluyong, and Barangka and Jesus de la Peña to Marikina. In addition, the land of Camp Crame was originally part of San Juan. On January 1, 1942, President Quezon issued an executive order from the tunnel of Corregidor. He designated Jorge Vargas Mayor of Greater Manila, that included Quezon City, Kalookan, Pasay, San Juan, Mandaluyong, Makati, and Parañaque. Greater Manila was later expanded eventually included Las Piñas, Malabon, and Navotas.

When the Japanese came in 1942, World War II, the City of Manila was divided into 12 districts, two of which were formed from Quezon City: Balintawak which consisted of San Francisco del Monte, Galas, and La Loma; and Diliman which consisted of Diliman proper, Cubao, and the University District.

After the war, Republic Act No. 333, which redefined the Caloocan–Quezon City boundary, was signed by President Elpidio Quirino on July 17, 1948, declaring Quezon City to be the national capital. The Act specified the city’s area to be 156.60 km2 (60 sq mi). The barrios of Baesa, Bagbag, Banlat, Kabuyao, Novaliches Proper, Pasong Putik, Pasong Tamo, Pugad Lawin, San Bartolome and Talipapa, which belonged to Novaliches and had a combined area of about 8,100 hectares, were taken from Caloocan and given to Quezon City. This resulted in the territorial division of Caloocan into two non-contiguous parts, the South section being the more urbanized part, and the North half being sub-rural.

On November 7, 1975, the promulgation of Presidential Decree No. 824 of President Ferdinand Marcos established Metro Manila. And Quezon City became just one of Metro Manila’s 17 cities and municipalities. The following year, Presidential Decree No. 940 transferred the capital back to Manila.

Clearly, Quezon City is the biggest city in the Philippines.  It has a population of close to 3 million.  It was designed to be the capital city and actually was for some decades until Marcos made Manila the capital. 

Recently, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian proposed the establishment of all government offices and centers to be in Clark City, Pampanga.  House Bill 876 is not a far cry from being passed. But at this point it is impractical.  Commuting to Clark everyday will take forever and we may end up with sick officials from traffic madness.  Infrastructure for housing government leaders and workers seems impossible. Why waste money and make things inconvenient.  Why not carefully plan and re-study Quezon City since it is already home to many government offices and services?

There is land in Quezon City where squatters abound. Cleanse those areas and give better housing plans to relocate them. The Commonwealth area can be developed to be the center of government work. It is a matter of political will. That’s all it takes.

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